think critically

Critical Thinking

  • think critically “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” Albert Einstein

    What does it mean to think critically in the context of schooling? It is simply the process in which we develop an understanding of the world in which we live. Education researchers, Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins state, “To understand is to make sense of what one knows, to be able to know why it’s so, and to have the ability to use it in various situations and context.” The process of developing an understanding requires students to think critically; that is, they…

     

    • Collect, assess, and analyze relevant information;
    • Reason effectively;
    • Use systems thinking (problem solving tools and methodology);
    • Make sound judgment and decisions;
    • Identify, define, and solve authentic problems;
    • Reflect on learning experiences, processes and solutions 

    We are partnering with Spalding County, Butts County, The University of Georgia, Gordon State College and Southern Crescent Technical College to open Griffin-Regional College and Career Academy. In the process of developing the college and career academy, we surveyed and spoke with hundreds of regional employers and the message was clear: employers are more concerned with what new employees can do, not what they know. They said give us young people who can think and learn; we’ll train them. The ubiquitous nature of technology and the rapid pace of innovation creates a condition whereby those who can think and learn independently will thrive. Our job is to teach students how to do it. A Google executive was quoted as saying if you have to be managed you can’t work here.


Information & Discovery

Performance Area

Indicator

Critical Thinking: Information & Discovery CT 1

I provide a thorough description of the concept, theme or problem.

Critical Thinking: Information & Discovery CT 2

I explain why the concept, theme, or problem are relevant or necessary.

Critical Thinking: Information & Discovery CT 3

I ask thought-provoking questions (why, what if, how, etc.) and/or organize information that builds a knowledge base for the concept, theme, or problem.

Critical Thinking: Information & Discovery CT 4

I can conduct independent extended research using multiple, credible sources. )


Interpretation and Analysis

Performance Area

Indicator

Critical Thinking: Interpretation and Analysis CT 5

I independently locate and use information from multiple sources to build background knowledge.

Critical Thinking: Interpretation and Analysis CT 6

I can identify multiple sources with differing points of view and infer why the sources have those viewpoints.

Critical Thinking: Interpretation and Analysis CT 7

I can clearly explain different points of view, the "why" behind the point of view, and why it challenges my point of view.

Critical Thinking: Interpretation and Analysis CT 8

I can identify all relevant information, and can recognize when irrelevant (i.e., unrelated; unimportant) evidence is introduced.

Critical Thinking: Interpretation and Analysis CT 9

I use relevant information and reasoning to solve a problem.


Reasoning

Performance Area

Indicator

Critical Thinking: Reasoning CT 10

I explain assumptions (what I believe, but have not proven) about the about the concept, theme, or problem; I justify assumptions with documented evidence.

Critical Thinking: Reasoning CT 11

I communicate inferences from the inquiry/research experience that connect to prior learning.

Problem Solving and Solution Finding

Performance Area

Indicator

Critical Thinking: Problem Solving and Solution Finding CT 12

I can transfer my ideas to another problem or circumstance.

Critical Thinking: Problem Solving and Solution Finding CT 13

When using systems thinking in problem solving, I can define if the system is in equilibrium or is changing. I can explain how the system interacts with another system.

Critical Thinking: Problem Solving and Solution Finding CT 14

I reflect and refine my ideas and follow through by implementing the improvement.


Constructing Arguments

Performance Area

Indicator

Critical Thinking: Constructing Arguments CT 15

I state my claim about the inquiry question in an articulate and convincing way.

Critical Thinking: Constructing Arguments CT 16

I select evidence that supports my claim and points out strengths and limitations of the claim in a manner that anticipates possible biases.

Critical Thinking: Constructing Arguments CT 17

I distinguish the knowledgeable claim from alternate or opposing claims.

Critical Thinking: Constructing Arguments CT 18

I establish and maintain a formal style and an objective tone.

Critical Thinking: Constructing Arguments CT 19

I establish the significance of alternate or opposing claims.

Critical Thinking: Constructing Arguments CT 20

I organize reasons and evidence in a well-organized, logically sequenced order, that avoids a formulaic style.


Self-Regulation & Reflection

Performance Area

Indicator

Critical Thinking: Self-Regulation/Reflection CT 21

I monitor my progress/process, adjusting and using resources as necessary, or I reflect and report on ways to improve.